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Short story

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Post on TSR and win a prize! Find out more... 10-04-2014
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    Please read and critique if you have the time.


    ‘A Democratic Ukraine’. The orange banners filled the crowd like row upon row of exotic birds bridling for attention from the podium that was elevated before them. I stood up. The dioxin had taken a heavy toll, it was now an effort to simply speak, each muscle in my face warping and convulsing spasmodically as I tried to present an aura of calm and grace. This was going to be a farce. Three weeks the doctor had said. I didn’t have three weeks. In three weeks we may as well have declared Ukraine a vassal of the Russia. Putin was going to win. Putin, with his puerile yet aquiline features gazing with those cold diamond eyes like a falcon, judging every situation and contemplating on how best to dismember his weakened prey.
    No. Giving up now would destroy years of work. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was simply the vocal minority of the silent majority. To give up now would leave all those people to wallow in the unkempt roads that sprawled Ukraine like a leviathan that was slowly being destroyed by a parasite, already too disfigured to be fit for use. To give up now would be to let the people face another year of cold slow death for the old, with not even the country to care for them. To give up now would be unthinkable. I checked my make-up. It was a thick powder, almost sludge-like in its viscosity. I wondered whether it would hide the black scars. I hope it didn’t. Perhaps the people would see. Look, look what Russia has done to us. Fight back. Do SOMETHING. Stop bathing in your self-pity and take arms. The organiser said there was perhaps a million people here. A million people standing in the biting frost, flames ironically licking the old shoes in the fires, both orange flickering and disused waste matching the colour of the tents.
    20 minutes. Twenty minutes to change Ukraine forever. The doctor said I would be seeing stars by twenty-two. It wasn’t enough time. I looked at the drip, it was a tiny. A fragile, see-through bag holding the sweet relief that was keeping me awake. I detached it, a small pop accounting for the enormity of the task I had just done as I walked apprehensively to face the crowd, expecting to fall on my knees at any minute. It was probably the worst opening a crowd had ever seen. I almost crawled like a new born baby, knees bent, hoping that if I fell the soft chalky bone would be able to prevent most of the pain, causing what had previously become a powerful stride to now be humiliated into the limp of an ape-like hunchback, not walking but throwing myself side to side as if I was trying to define crude.
    I straightened as I reached the podium. If I fell now at least my limp muscles would be supported by the wooden frame. I couldn’t look up, I didn’t want to. I knew what there would be. A sea of iridescent green kindling the shabby grey filth of the city that reeked of street water and sweat, the only history or culture emanating from the cobblestones as you touched them being that of prostitutes and thieves. The piece of paper was there. It told me what to do. Why couldn’t I just listen to it? Why did I have to face one million people? Why did I have to look into their oppressed eyes searching out for a saviour, a knight in shining armour and say that it's over? I wasn’t a knight. I was the harbinger of death. The death of Ukraine.
    Keep your head down. That was almost the national motto. Keep your head down and ignore it. Just ignore the suffering, the cruelty, the inequality. It’ll all be alright. They’ll sort out the roads. They’ll sort out the pensions. They’ll take care of everything. Just keep your head down. I had to look up. At least, maybe in the slightest of ways, the tiniest iota of change, I could change something.
    “Dear Ukrainians”
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    I really enjoyed reading this, you have a very powerful way of manipulating language and imagery which you manage to keep from being over-the-top.

    I personally can't really find anything to critique. I am assuming there is a particular real-life political context in which this is set? The only thing I can come up with is maybe work on expanding some background of that context, although that would depend entirely on who you want to be reading this. As a reader somewhat ignorant of Ukrainian and Russian political history, I did feel I could have got more out of it if I'd known more, if you get what I mean?!

    But that's really only me trying to find something to suggest! Whether or not you think that is particularly important in terms of who you are writing for is obviously entirely up to you.

    I always judge short stories by whether or not I imagine I would want to read it as a full novel, and this I would
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    (Original post by sammy-lou)
    I really enjoyed reading this, you have a very powerful way of manipulating language and imagery which you manage to keep from being over-the-top.

    I personally can't really find anything to critique. I am assuming there is a particular real-life political context in which this is set? The only thing I can come up with is maybe work on expanding some background of that context, although that would depend entirely on who you want to be reading this. As a reader somewhat ignorant of Ukrainian and Russian political history, I did feel I could have got more out of it if I'd known more, if you get what I mean?!

    But that's really only me trying to find something to suggest! Whether or not you think that is particularly important in terms of who you are writing for is obviously entirely up to you.

    I always judge short stories by whether or not I imagine I would want to read it as a full novel, and this I would
    Thank you very much. It is referring to Victor Yushchenkov's speech, after he had been poisoned by (unconfirmed but assumed) Soviets. He was campaigning for a democratic system in a post-soviet nation where the other party was supported by Putin.

    Sorry for assuming that everyone knows about Russia, I've done it before. I'll try to tone it down next time.

    Unfortunately I only write short things, I've tried writing longer things but I just run out of things to write about.
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    (Original post by cyfer)
    Thank you very much. It is referring to Victor Yushchenkov's speech, after he had been poisoned by (unconfirmed but assumed) Soviets. He was campaigning for a democratic system in a post-soviet nation where the other party was supported by Putin.

    Sorry for assuming that everyone knows about Russia, I've done it before. I'll try to tone it down next time.

    Unfortunately I only write short things, I've tried writing longer things but I just run out of things to write about.
    Ah ok thanks, I'm going to have a Google of that, sounds interesting!

    To be honest I don't think it needs much toning down - for those that know about the background it would have a real relevance to them, but for those like me that don't, it's still effective - sort of leaves you wondering. I wouldn't by any means suggest taking anything away from it, only adding to it. But I know that can be difficult in terms of maintaining a literary feel to the story, and not falling in to a trap of having Part 1)here's the historical facts, Part 2) Here's the story I've based it on. It's not worth risking that happening for the sake of explaining something that doesn't really need explaining.

    Thanks for sharing!
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    (Original post by sammy-lou)
    Ah ok thanks, I'm going to have a Google of that, sounds interesting!

    To be honest I don't think it needs much toning down - for those that know about the background it would have a real relevance to them, but for those like me that don't, it's still effective - sort of leaves you wondering. I wouldn't by any means suggest taking anything away from it, only adding to it. But I know that can be difficult in terms of maintaining a literary feel to the story, and not falling in to a trap of having Part 1)here's the historical facts, Part 2) Here's the story I've based it on. It's not worth risking that happening for the sake of explaining something that doesn't really need explaining.

    Thanks for sharing!
    If you want a good starting point one of the episodes from the BBC series about Putin has a short bit on it. That's originally where I got my inspiration then I researched it a bit though.

    Thanks for sharing? Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment
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    I totally agree with Sammy-Lou: I think it's really good! It gives that personal stream-of-consciousness tone without being over-dramatic and even though I had no knowledge of the historical/political background, I felt the emotion of everything that was written. I can also imagine it as the climax or preface of a novel, so you get the feeling of an entire story or an entire life in just that short section. Fantastic

    My only niggling thing is;
    The organiser said there was perhaps a million people here.
    *The organiser said there were perhaps a million people here.

    Sorry, self-proclaimed grammar-Nazi :P

    Also, have you heard of http://www.nanowrimo.org/ (National Novel Writing Month)? If you want to write longer stuff, then this is definitely the place to do it! It doesn't matter if you run out of ideas or it's just a terrible story, you keep going until you get to the end, so then you have something to go on that you can edit/rewrite/finish at a later date. And it's so much fun
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    A very effective piece of writing...
    Maybe you could do something about Mrs Timoshenko ?
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    Thank you for the replies guys, it is greatly appreciated.

    (Original post by tigerlilygem)
    I totally agree with Sammy-Lou: I think it's really good! It gives that personal stream-of-consciousness tone without being over-dramatic and even though I had no knowledge of the historical/political background, I felt the emotion of everything that was written. I can also imagine it as the climax or preface of a novel, so you get the feeling of an entire story or an entire life in just that short section. Fantastic

    My only niggling thing is;

    *The organiser said there were perhaps a million people here.

    Sorry, self-proclaimed grammar-Nazi :P

    Also, have you heard of http://www.nanowrimo.org/ (National Novel Writing Month)? If you want to write longer stuff, then this is definitely the place to do it! It doesn't matter if you run out of ideas or it's just a terrible story, you keep going until you get to the end, so then you have something to go on that you can edit/rewrite/finish at a later date. And it's so much fun
    Sorry about the grammar, that was pretty stupid, but thanks for correcting me.
    I've heard about Nanowrimo and I planned to do it last year or two years ago but I never got really round to it due to the new GCSE structure (GCSE exams are taken throughout the two year course) which didn't leave me enough time for it. However I've thought about it and I'm doubtful as to how helpful it would actually be, it just seems like you'll write a rubbish story since you have to rush it and I don't really see how that will help your writing, apart from maybe forcing you to use ideas that you don't necessarily enjoy, simply due to the time constraints.

    The only writing thing I've done was a course with an organisation called Arvon. I went with about 12 people from my school and stayed in a country house where we basically learned about writing for ~4 hours of the day and spent the rest in the fields writing. I also got to meet a professional poet and a writer so it was a great experience, although perhaps I didn't do as much work as I should have.

    (Original post by the bear)
    A very effective piece of writing...
    Maybe you could do something about Mrs Timoshenko ?
    Sadly I don't know anything about Mrs Timoshenko
    I'm not really up for writing something I'm not actually passionate about and although I enjoy Russian history greatly due to how it has developed in a completely different way, I only know about Russian history due to media/literature and unless I can find something similar for Mrs Timoshenko, I don't think that Wikipedia will spark anything.
    By media/literature for example I became fascinated in early 20th century Russia because I read 'A people's tragedy' by Orlando Figes, whilst the BBC series on Putin led me onto writing this short piece.

    Sorry for the rambling, and thank you for the comments.
    the bear if you like Mrs Timoshenko why don't you write something about her? Or based on her?
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    I don't write often but since I have so far evaded trolls I'll post something else. This was written perhaps 2 years ago? I can't post my most recent work as I have to use it for a GCSE examination.

    (if you want to read this, I recommend you copy and paste it into word to avoid the chunky paragraph you get with this forum layout)


    Psychological horror story

    I staggered among the thickets of the wood, marching a solitary campaign. The landscape seemed to fall about with me, everytime I collapsed, but beheld it upon myself to get up again. No life is worth such a miserable end, furthermore mine, finishing on such a gloomy end, after so much joy.
    For now I seemed to adhere to this pattern, trudging around, boots already soaked to the ankles in water filled with god knows what. The constant murmering did nothing to enlighten my character, to and fro the trees that loomed above me seemed to whisper amongst themselves as they watched the silent joke stride forward, determination seeping from him.
    I remembered vividly the endless flow of drinks, joy of sustenance that came from friends. A rapturous belch exploding from a nearby scholar and seemingly infinite laughter. Laughter, weakening me till I could stand no more.
    I sobered up after this fault. I’m lost. No more procrastination. Only I am to blame for such tedious and predictable actions of a recent graduate. I smiled at the thought, if dear old Eton saw me now. What a disgrace! I must look like a tramp, nevertheless I had brought this upon myself. People next morning will probably be complaining of headaches, and vomiting from the hangovers, while I stay out here. Lost.

    I have no track of how long I’ve been walking, nor do I want to know. It seems endless. It seems as if day should have come long ago. It seems surreal. I surveyed the thicket of branches and leaves above, barely making out the illuminescence of a full moon above them.

    The repetitive beating caught my intention very soon, it seemed to fade into existence. I had no idea what on earth it could be but again and again it seemed to hit something. Something hollow. No man could go on such long, with whatever this was, at such a fast speed. It seemed to never stop until I reached the mill.
    Some would call the space that surrounded the mill a clearance. An eerie opening in the endless woods. Although saying this I would have to be paranormally frightened, spooked almost. Truth be told, I was simply relieved. I had no idea how long I trekked. What I thought had to be hours upon end must have been several minutes collectively. After all, it only seemed to grow darker the longer I walked. But now, for once my moral lifted, I straightened my back, like a butler serving the queen and I walked forward to discover the source of this repetition. I would be lying if I said earlier the sound did not nearly drive me mad, after all, a single body, with nothing but echoes of nightlife ricocheting upon him, with a maddening sound driving down and greatening with every step, louder and louder, stronger and faster!
    Laughter. Like the trees the animate object seemed to mock me with it’s presence. A simple water wheel. Driving one of the best brains in Eton near barny. To degenerate so was further then an embarrassment.
    With only more sparks added to my anger I tried to compose myself. No host would welcome such a bedraggled man, looking paler then white. The antediluvian mill seemed to sway with the gathering zephyr as I walked up to the door. The battered frame welcomed a like character such as I, a strangely satisfying thing. The fully waxed moon that could now glare down seemed to make the ankle-length grass glisten white iridescence. That was when I noticed the smell. A slight hint of rotten apples, with a tint of garlic. Whoever this unusual host was, it would be truly welcomely for a good nights sleep, till I can find my way back of course.

    “Hello, I’m Sebastian Zephiah. I seem to be lost and I would like to ask you if you could give me a good nights sleep. Whether on the floor or in a bed, I do not mind, as long as I am away from this retched cold” At which point I ironically sneezed, leaving a trail of phlegm dripping down my hands.
    The plump women had started smiling at me long before I had introduced myself and without a single word she beckoned with her short, stubby arms into the glowing warmth of the room. The hearth had been long before lit and primed, with a clear stockpile of wood beside and a clearly raging fire contained within. The room was quite bare. The floor composed of a few planks, some out of place from soaking no doubt. A stove stood in one place with a bare, crimson carpet in the middle, presumably to sit on. The only note of attention was in fact the single painting hung in this room. This circular room. It was neither large nor small, but it stood out like a giant wart on a man’s face. Distorting the comforting curves like a spike. A strangely flat spike. It’s structure bemused me as I looked upon it; a landscape drawing of the mill, in the rain. I had never seen anything quite like it, the artist seemed to be furious with the…crude work. Lines appeared everywhere, not even the cone like shape of the mill formed a smooth surface. The rain slashed down diagonally down across the field of white grass. Why it was commissioned was a mystery, it was everything but this room.
    As I settled down on the uncomfortable carpet, a moreover circular strip of felt I watched the women. She was absolutely indescribable. She was just…ordinary. There was nothing about her that I could think or ponder on, nothing I could form an opinion on, apart from her width. Everytime I tried to focus on her figure I seemed to be distracted by the saucepan that visibly hummed with heat, everytime I forgot what she looked like.



    After a short period of time the plump woman brought forward a mess bowl, heavily laden with porridge. I seemed to yearn to define her fleeting character, to ponder her abnormal normalness. I had never felt such an emotion, such constant and never-ending curiosity, constantly nagging me, bayed off only by my growling hunger. The porridge was neither sweet nor sour, not even with that definite trace of sweet honey. At least, it did seem to satisfy my hunger, and a glass of clear water relent my thirst. The whole meal seemed to carry a curious smell around it, a hint of one thing that I could just not place my finger on. It was so faint yet wholly there, filling every nook and cranny of smell yet, Nothing. Nevermind, I was full and that’s what mattered.
    After a while the woman just said “Your room’s upstairs, second from last.” Her voice was shrilly different to what I presumed. Rough. Manly. I silently nodded and opened a side door. Layers upon layers of rough stone steps spread out in a spiral among me, gradually tightening the space.
    I walked up towards what I hoped would be a final rest. I was oh so drowsy. So sleepy. My eyes started drooping. Refusing to life. I tried to make out what was behind the curtain of thick lashes as I kept on going. This whole situation seemed a bit, well weird. What were the chances of me being lost in a forest, then coming to an abandoned water wheel. Abandoned. So that was it, the emptiness that filled every single area that had consumed me when outside. It just felt unoccupied. As if it shouldn’t be there. As if it wasn’t allowed there. I pondered on this as I kept on climbing. I had no idea who the woman was, did she prepare for me? I stopped with that thought. She hadn’t gone up at all since I came. How could the room be prepared? My ragged shirt was carried slightly to my side by a slight breeze. A slight breeze? The walls did not emit a single airflow, they were solid plaster for goodness sake! Solid I plaster, cement whatever it was, there was no reason for such a breeze. A breeze that was so stealthy, so sure of it hiding it’s existence from me that it daren’t emit a single sound.
    “I’m crazy” I spoke aloud to the nothingness of the stairway, trying to reassure myself. “I’m crazy” I repeated. This has to stop, such thoughts plague the minds of only sick men. But I am sick aren’t I? I seemed to be inwardly schizophrenic, the schoolboy side of me dismissing ludicrous thoughts while the other side of me. The present side. Was only killing me from within. All that’s happened was that I was a little drunk and I had a silly adventure, a minor promenade through the woods as I may.

    This penultimate room was engraved into the wall, indented with ease. THe hosts room was opposite. I entered the room and a recognition of the faint smeel suddenly hit me. I knew exactly what it was, exactly how to describe it. But I was afraid to utter the words. For to utter such words would only destroy my mind furthermore and send it into another vicious circle of schizophrenia. I whispered it as quietly as I could. Knowing that if I had not said it, it would only curse me more. “Bitter almonds.”
    Bitter almonds. Bitter almonds. Bitter almonds. I slowly sat down in the doorway. Repeating this word to myself over and over again. I could clearly imagine the waft of that porridge, the honey secretly hiding that faint, bitter smell. I was NOT outdone. I will NEVER be outdone. Eagerly, in frantic haste I remembered the large glass jug of water she had given me. Just in case I get thirsty. Well, this inadequate woman is definitely not as smart as she believes herself to be, what is she trying anyway?! Anything can be washed out of the system with the right means and I downed the water in several gulps, licking away the droplets from inside.
    Now it was my turn to mock this silly old cow. How fickle she must be, believing she must have everything laid out, yet she has gotten everything wrong. The substance must have been too small to cause any damage, after all this pondering I had just figured it out, it has only been several minutes since I ate the porridge; nowhere near enough time for it to get me. The final solution was the jug of water, what trace of substance there was must have been eliminated and diluted.
    I interrupted my glee for a moment to stand up and look around the room. Like the room downstairs it was also ill-furbished, with a single chair and a scanty mattress laying near the wall like a discarded, second-hand object. There were no ventilators within the walls, no doors, and the walls proved to be sound and strong after a quick check. The small window had a black metal frame around clouded glass. The handle seemed to be cold and empty. Who had ever heard of a hollow metal handle? It seem weak and futile under the strong grasp of an enlightened man. It opened to a silent night. Just as I had left the world. Sure enough the white grass stood out from the dark green expanse of woodland. Another oddity. Who painted grass? For now I was sure it could not be the moon, for the forest did not carry a single hint of shine yet the grass seemed to be glowing all by itself. The crazy woman. It seemed almost like an artistic piece of work, I wondered if the ground itself was painted. If not, why such meticulous work? It would surely drive a person mad.
    My thoughts swarmed with the woman. The woman that was so mad as to live in a place like this. Isolated from the world. Surviving on…? For once my thoughts jammed shut like an iron nar blocking a door. What the hell did she eat? She was a human. After all. I thought back to the porridge. Porridge is made of wheat and milk. Unless there is a secret farm or pasture around here I don’t know what the hell could have been in that foul, thick and slimy mixture. As to the watermill, they were supposed to generate electricity, yes quite a modern idea but a working one nonetheless. But I hadn’t seen a single light in the whole house.




    Not a single light. Not even a candle. Nothing. I was in shock. There was light everywhere, luminating the room, but where was it coming from? I looked around the room in vain, the chair, the bed, the ceiling. Not a single source. I felt a shiver run down my spine. What was this place? It was paranormal. Ever since I came here I knew something was wrong. Everything is wrong. It’s unnatural. I went up to the wall, demanding evidence, everything must have a simple explanation. As I grated my finger nail as hard as I could against the wall, bits of plaster flaked off, exposing another white layer. I scraped off that layer again in vain, only to find another. After a further 3 layers and a broken nail I sat on the bed. Defeated. I sucked up the sour blood eroding from my finger. I felt no pain, nor was it numb. There was just a feeling of absence, as if something should be there.
    I don’t know how long I’ve sat here. The light never gets darker, the silence; like the stream, never ends, constant flowing and flowing pushing against my mind, trying to break through the barrier I had erected and drive it to the brink. And throw it down. I’m waiting. For something. I know, it will never come. But what do I have to waste? The light has already burned into my eyes. They feel like hollow pits. Burning, smoldering. It just gnaws and gnaws away at them, like a maggot eating it from inside out. It just won’t stop. Until it consumes me.
    I crave for noise. It is no longer a need, a desperation. It is a beg, a plead for help from my soul. I crave for it worse then a mother craves for her stillborn child. But the silence just keeps coming back. Battering me. Attacking me. Ripping me apart.
    I no longer move, I just twitch and shiver in the warmth of the cruel light. I’ve tried to rest, but sleep evades me like a man on my back. Holding out a stick in front of me, with sleep in the smooth bag at the end. It’s so close, yet so far. I’ll never be able to get it yet I keep on trying, it only deludes me further, making me angrier, madder. Only to try harder and harder until…
    DUNNNNMMMM. I fell from the bed. The bell had finally been struck. As it rejoiced and danced about me with joy at the sound I fell to my knees. No longer a man. Not even a slave. Just another creature unfortunate enough to fall into it’s grasp. I could hear it around me. Licking it’s lips. Delightful. Meals don’t come often for them and when they do. They don’t waste time. I can feel their prescence. Crouching around me, flaring their nostrils as they smell the sweet scent of fear. I struggle to life my head, to expose my face from the depths of my hair to the light one more time. To show my defiance to the light. But the bell has been struck.
    I submit.



    I wake up with closed eyes. My body hurts in every single place, aching, dreadful pain. But, oh what glorious pain! No more absence, finally something is there! Eager in desperation I strive to open my eyelids of lead but they refuse to obey.
    Once more I awaken. This time I can hear a voice. Fretting over…Me? I’m too tired to think. They will have to wait.
    This time I open my eyes. I’m covered in thick, woollen blankets. Sheep skin I suppose. I feel a fiery warmth and turn my head to stare into the calm, sustaining fire. I shiver with glee. I’m alive.
    Somebody opens the door. It’s the woman. She walks down next to my feet and empties her load of wood into the soft fire. The fire welcomes then and engulfs them in it’s midst. She looks down at me and, with legs crossed she sits down next to me.
    “Thank you” She says quietly. “You’re probably to weak to talk, so let me try and explain. Several years ago, me and my husband bought this house within the woods. We were seeking a quiet life, away from the city, where we can live happily and live on our own products, be sustainable. All we brought along were some few seeds. We soon started flourishing, the few seeds turning into a farm and my husband building that mill. But, the more we succeeded the more we were drove down. My husband, the late Martson, starting having delusions. Nightmares of sorts. I tried to comfort him, but nothing I tried could help. It happened every single night. After a while he could not stand it anymore. He succumbed and died. I did not go back to the city, to my friends and family. I knew I couldn’t, not after what had happened. I thought it was my fault, my doing that brought us here and that he suffered. My action that I dismissed his suspicions and did not return to the city” At this point tears were running down her cheeks as she sobbed and choked with past memories. “I grieved for three long years. Three years where nothing has been productive and I lived by the skin of my teeth. Last year I called a doctor over, to see if maybe the faint smell of almonds or the white grass may have something to do with my husband. It turned out that the white grass was caused by high levels of phosphorous, the same phosphorous that contaminated the wood and stone of this building, the same we used to create plaster from. The faint smell of almonds turned out to be cyanide. At first I was convinced that this was the case, but the doctor said that the levels of it were so minute that it could have caused nowhere near the described effect. And cyanide doesn’t cause delusions after all. These answered a lot of questions but not the one I wanted to know dearest. The one I had asked. So I formed a plan and waited. Eventually someone will find this place. I waited for a long time. Months and months on end until you came. I had everything ready you see, the same room where he slept, the same chair, same mattress. I needed to know what had happened to him, and why nothing was wrong with me. So I submitted you to a test. What would happen I had no idea of.” So, I thought. I was a guinea pig. “But of course, if you had started screaming like my




    husband I would have come and found you, so you were in no real danger after all and nothing would have happened” She frantically rushed, stuttering through this. “But you didn’t say a word. I went to the room in the morning and you were lying on the floor, curled up into a ball. Twitching and shivering. I still don’t know what happened. Please, please do not hate me for what I have don’t for it was necessary. Please tell me. What happened?
    I thought over what I was going to say as I stared into her pleading, begging face. I looked at her, slowly opening and closing the theatrical curtains that covered my eyes. I took a shallow, short breath, summoning all the cruelty and loathing I could reach and said “You killed him”. I smiled and stood up, my face splitting in two with the breadth of my malice.
    Two months later a body is found in the woods. A short, starved woman. I tell them everything. They ask my why I did it. They ask me if I regret it. They as me if I want forgiveness.


    For what?
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    (Original post by cyfer)
    I've heard about Nanowrimo and I planned to do it last year or two years ago but I never got really round to it due to the new GCSE structure (GCSE exams are taken throughout the two year course) which didn't leave me enough time for it. However I've thought about it and I'm doubtful as to how helpful it would actually be, it just seems like you'll write a rubbish story since you have to rush it and I don't really see how that will help your writing, apart from maybe forcing you to use ideas that you don't necessarily enjoy, simply due to the time constraints.
    I see what you mean. I found it helpful and fun because I know I have these ideas, but I just don't have the willpower to stick at it when they run out, so for me it was about getting them out to fix later.

    (Original post by cyfer)
    The only writing thing I've done was a course with an organisation called Arvon. I went with about 12 people from my school and stayed in a country house where we basically learned about writing for ~4 hours of the day and spent the rest in the fields writing. I also got to meet a professional poet and a writer so it was a great experience, although perhaps I didn't do as much work as I should have.
    That sounds absolutely fantastic! I've done shorter things like that, but there's only so much you can do in a short time. Writing in fields all day sounds lovely!

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Updated: February 23, 2012
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